There are several things that can happen at home that will make a regular day turn into a stress fest. Water dripping from anywhere is one of those instances. Whether it’s from the ceiling or from your AC vent, your brain goes into damage control mode.
What’s going on? How can I fix it ASAP?
Air Conditioners are what we know best. So we are here to provide you with the most common reasons water may be dripping from your AC vent and what you can do to fix it.
What Causes Water to Leak From Your AC Vents?
Before discussing what causes water leaks in your air conditioner, remember to always shut off the AC unit (and better yet, the breakers that provide them with power) before working on your AC. Don’t risk getting electrocuted.
That being said, the following are the most common causes for water to leak from your AC:
1. Dirty Air Filters
An air conditioner works by absorbing the moisture out of the air inside your home. The condensation drips into a drip pan, which is then drained out of your home through the condensate lines.
If your air filters are dirty, the dust and debris block the air flow. Instead of dripping condensation drops into the drip pan, the water will freeze over the AC’s evaporator coils, forming a thin layer of ice. The longer you keep the dirty filters, the thicker the layer of ice becomes. This ice will start dripping as it melts, causing the water to drip from your vents.
So change your air filters regularly. How often you’ll have to do it depends on many factors: The size of your home, how many people live in it, whether you have any pets, and whether any of you have allergies. The best thing you can do is check them every month. If they look dirty, change them.
2. Frozen Evaporator Coils
If dirty air filters caused ice to form on the evaporator coils, once you’ve changed the filters, get a hair dryer, turn it on to the lowest setting, and blow warm air over the coils to help the ice melt faster.
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3. Rusted Drip Pan
The drip pan we mentioned above can become rusted with time. If you’ve changed your filters and the coils aren’t frozen, check the pan to see if it needs to be replaced. If it does, click here for instructions on how to replace it.
4. Clogged Condensate Line
The condensate drain line is outside of your home. Just as with air filters, over time, it will become clogged with dust, dirt, debris, mildew, algae, or maybe even a rodent or bug who decided to make the drain line its home. To unclog it, you’ll need either a shop vac or distilled vinegar.
To learn how to do it yourself, check out our blog: How to Unclog Your AC Condensate Drain Line
5. Broken Condensate Pump
Condensate pumps are usually located next to a furnace or condensate line. The water in your AC is collected inside the pump, which is then pumped outside of your home. If the pump motor stops working, water won’t be drained from the pump.
6. Improper Installation
If the AC system wasn’t installed properly, either the unit or the drain pan may slightly tilt to one side, causing pooled condensation to drip. If you’ve had your air conditioner for years and this is the first time it drips, this is likely not the issue.
7. Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is your AC’s coolant. Unlike a car, it doesn’t need to be replaced or topped off unless there’s an issue with the unit. However, they should only be fixed by HVAC experts, since exposure to it may cause refrigerant poisoning.
8. Air Leak Around the Vent
If your AC vent is dripping, reach up and feel for any air escaping from around the sides of the air vents first. This is a common issue and one that is very easy to fix. If air is escaping from anywhere other than the grates, caulking the leak is all you need to do.
9. Insufficient Insulation Around the Air Ducts
Lots of attic spaces aren’t insulated, so if your air ducts run through the attic, they may acquire excess condensation. Fortunately, if you can safely access the attic in your home, you can fix this by simply adding air duct insulation around the ductwork. Not sure if the insulation is inefficient? Remove the grate from your air vents and check. If there is no insulation, a quick trip to the home improvement store will equip you with everything you need.
AC Repair in Pinellas County and South Tampa
Sometimes, issues are pretty simple and can be fixed with a tweak here or there. Other times, they are confusing or time consuming and the best way to ensure you’re doing the job properly is to have an HVAC professional take care of it.
At Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating, we provide 24/7 emergency AC repair in Pinellas County and South Tampa. We also provide regular maintenance. With summer around the corner, it’s a good idea to make sure your system will get you through the hottest months without a glitch.
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule your appointment.